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Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra

Saturday, March 2, 2019 8 PM Stern Auditorium / Perelman Stage
Ádám Fischer by Csibi Szilvia
Beethoven’s heroic music frames a Bartók work influenced by Debussy. Bartók’s sensibilities changed after a visit to Paris, absorbing the lushness of French music while also adding accents of folk music. The courageous protagonists of Beethoven’s opera Leonore—later renamed Fidelio—are depicted in a rousing overture that features themes from the opera. His brawny Third Symphony, the “Eroica,” is grandly scaled and boldly opens the door to a new age with its muscular depiction of an unnamed hero.

Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra is also performing March 3, March 5, and March 6.


Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
Ádám Fischer, Conductor


BEETHOVEN Leonore Overture No. 3

BARTÓK Two Pictures

BEETHOVEN Symphony No. 3, "Eroica"


J. STRAUSS JR. Kaiser-Walzer, Op. 437

Event Duration

The printed program will last approximately two hours, including one 20-minute intermission.

Major support for this concert is provided by the Audrey Love Charitable Foundation.

The Vienna Philharmonic Residency at Carnegie Hall is made possible by a leadership gift from the Mercedes T. Bass Charitable Corporation.

Rolex is the Exclusive Partner of the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra.

At a Glance

The three works on this program are early but significant pieces in their composers’ careers. Indeed, Beethoven’s “Eroica” Symphony, from 1803, was his first radical break with the 18th-century Classical tradition. It has a whiplash energy, an epic structure, and an explosion of experiments that ushered in the Romanticism of Berlioz, Schumann, Wagner, Mahler, and others. It is longer, freer, more demanding, more complex, and more emotionally varied than any previous symphony. Beethoven also expanded the boundaries of the overture. For his opera Fidelio, he composed three versions of the Leonore Overture, each more symphonic than the last, so that by the time he got to No. 3—the one heard in this performance—he was faced with a work that had greatly overstepped its bounds. In fact, many commentators regard this surging piece as an early tone poem or symphonic fragment. Bartók’s colorful and exciting Two Pictures, premiered in 1913, is also an important early piece, representing Bartók’s break with late–19th-century Straussian rhetoric. The seductive first Picture is influenced by Debussy; the second, an earthy “Village Dance,” bears the imprint of his firsthand research into East European folk music, a discovery that changed the course of his career.


Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra

There is perhaps no other musical ensemble more closely associated with the history and tradition of European classical music than the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra. In the course of the ...

There is perhaps no other musical ensemble more closely associated with the history and tradition of European classical music than the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra. In the course of the past 177 years, the orchestra has experienced and influenced the course of musical history around the world. To this day, prominent soloists and conductors refer to the unique “Viennese sound” as the outstanding quality that sets it apart from other orchestras.

Since its foundation by Otto Nicolai in 1842, the fascination that the orchestra has held for prominent composers and conductors—as well as for audiences all around the world—is based upon the conscious maintenance of a homogenous musical style, which is carefully bequeathed from one generation to the next, as well as a unique history and organizational structure. The pillars of the “Philharmonic idea,” which remain in place today, are a democratic organization that places the entire artistic and organizational decision-making process in the hands of the musicians themselves, and a close symbiosis with the Vienna State Opera Orchestra. From the beginning, the orchestra has displayed a strong social consciousness, characterized by a commitment to individuals in need and the fostering of young musicians.

The orchestra’s touring activity commenced at the beginning of the 20th century and has since taken the orchestra to continents around the globe. In recent years, this has included regularly scheduled concerts in Germany, Japan, the US, and China.

The Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra performs approximately 40 concerts annually in Vienna, including the New Year’s Concert and the Summer Night Concert Schönbrunn, which are broadcast in numerous countries. The orchestra also has an annual summer residency at the Salzburg Festival and performs more than 50 concerts a year on its international tours. All of these activities underscore the reputation of the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra as one of the world’s finest orchestras.

The orchestra has been the recipient of numerous prizes and awards. Since 2008, it has been supported by Rolex, its exclusive sponsor.

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Ádám Fischer

Founder of both the Budapest Wagner Days festival and the Haydn Festival in Eisenstadt, Hungarian-born conductor Ádám Fischer has served as principal conductor of the ...

Founder of both the Budapest Wagner Days festival and the Haydn Festival in Eisenstadt, Hungarian-born conductor Ádám Fischer has served as principal conductor of the Düsseldorfer Symphoniker since 2015 and is artistic consultant of the Tonhalle Düsseldorf. In addition, he is principal conductor of the Danish National Chamber Orchestra and conductor laureate of the Austro-Hungarian Haydn Orchestra, which he founded.

Mr. Fischer has appeared at leading opera houses worldwide, including the Metropolitan Opera; Bayerische Staatsoper; Royal Opera House, Covent Garden; Opéra Bastille; Opernhaus Zürich; and La Scala, where he returns this season for new productions of Ernani and Gianni Schicchi. A guest at the Bayreuth Festival for many years, he was named Conductor of the Year by Opernwelt in 2002 for his performances of Wagner’s Ring cycle. In the concert hall, Mr. Fischer regularly appears with the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra; Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment; Mozarteum Orchestra Salzburg; Berliner Philharmoniker; Munich Philharmonic; Bamberg Symphony; Tonhalle-Orchester Zürich; Orchestre de Paris; and the Vienna, London, Chicago, Boston, and NHK symphony orchestras.

Born in Budapest, Mr. Fischer studied composition and conducting there and with Hans Swarowsky in Vienna. After serving as Kapellmeister in Helsinki, Karlsruhe, and at the Bayerische Staatsoper in Munich, he served as general music director in Freiburg (1981–1983), Kassel (1987–1992), and Mannheim (2000–2005) before becoming artistic director of the Hungarian State Opera (2007–2010). He received ECHO Klassik awards for his recordings of the complete symphonies of Haydn with the Austro-Hungarian Haydn Orchestra, an International Classical Music Award in 2015 for a recording of the complete Mozart symphonies with the Danish National Chamber Orchestra, and Grand Prix du Disque awards for his recordings of Goldmark’s The Queen of Sheba and Bartók’s Bluebeard’s Castle.

Mr. Fischer is an honorary member of the Vienna State Opera and the Musikverein für Steiermark in Graz. He is a recipient of the Order of the Dannebrog, awarded by the Queen of Denmark; was given the honorary title of professor by the Austrian Federal President; and was awarded Israel’s Wolf Prize in 2018. Visit adamfischer.at for more information.

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